Through the use of lush, light-filled landscapes, intimate and intriguing portraits, and delicately detailed stories, this riveting and visually stunning work carries us across continents and around the globe to understand and comprehend the complexities of the human journey that encompasses fair trade.
A captivating storyteller with a deft eye for detail, author-photographer Éric St-Pierre has crafted a book that makes the story of fair trade, its implications and its limitations, clear to us. We learn about production methods, the effect fair trade has on peoples' lives, and the advantages and challenges of a trade option based on dialogue, transparency, and respect.
St-Pierre introduces the reader to the most common fair trade products — handicrafts, coffee, and cocoa, as well as the lesser known ones — shea butter, quinoa, and guarana. Along the way, we discover how far we have come and how far we still have to go.
Éric St-Pierre, a renowned Canadian photojournalist, has been documenting fair trade practices for more than 15 years. During this time, his photographs have appeared in numerous daily newspapers, including La Presse and Le Devoir; magazines such as Au Québec; and in the publications of organizations as diverse as Oxfam, CIDA, and Le Cirque de Soleil. In 2007, he was selected among "10 fair trade pioneers in Canada" by Transfair Canada.
"350 riveting images... St-Pierre and his collaborators do an excellent job of elucidating fair trade's complicated layers. ... St-Pierre clearly advocates for F1O certification, but doesn't gloss over the controversial issues that continue to plague the movement. He plunks the reader down in certified tea estates in India where salaried workers still refer to the owner as ‘king.’ He shows us the temporary straw roof of a schoolroom in a Malian village, where cotton farmers await overdue premium payments. On a page dedicated to certification labels, St-Pierre clarifies that fair trade has ‘no national and international legal framework,’ warning the consumer: "This means that anyone can boast of being 'fair.'" — Alternatives Journal
Pub date: March 30, 2012